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D is for drive

June 12, 2021

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “drive”.

Like everyone else I knew I started training for my driver’s license when I was 15. Classroom lessons in school and then behind the wheel. I passed my permit test and then I practiced in real time with my dad. In reality, he had been getting me ready to drive since I was 12. He always drove VW bugs and so it was in a red bug that I started using the shifter while sitting in the passenger seat. And then in a yellow one or maybe a blue one that I progressed at 13 to actually driving in parking lots. I’m not sure why my dad was so keen on my driving and I’m thinking now that would have been a good question to ask. Live and learn. I failed my first driving test. The instructor said I didn’t move over close enough to the curb when I made a right turn. Whoopie, thanks. I aced the parallel parking part but I guess that didn’t count for anything. I felt horrible after failing but when I learned that other guys I knew also failed I felt better. Misery loves company. I got my license on the second try and that evening I took my parents out for a drive and they sat in the back seat while I chauffeured them around. It was 1969 Buick LeSabre. I drove down some city streets and then hopped on the Crosstown highway and just west of highway 100, right around Tracy Avenue in the wonderful city of Edina (if you want to talk like a Minnesotan then it’s E-DIE-nuh, not Eh-DEE-nuh) there was a loud noise and a huge gray bird hit the front grill and bounced up into the windshield and over the top of the car. My parents didn’t seen to think it was a big deal – they could have been making out back there for all I knew. I wasn’t even a licensed driver for three hours and I had killed a bird. When I finally parked there were remains of the bird, feathers and that stuff, stuck the front grill.

But it could be worse because I had a friend who was driving his brothers around town to celebrate his driver’s license and he wasn’t paying good attention because a car in front of him had stopped in the street because the car in front of them had stopped to let someone out. My friend slammed on the brakes but too late and he drove right into the rear of the stopped car. The force was enough that the stopped car then went into the back of the stopped car in front of them and the person who was just getting out of that first car and was half in and half out of the car went flying and landed on a parked car and then the sidewalk. They suffered a lot of injuries and there was a lawsuit and my friend, only 16, was sort of traumatized by the whole thing and rarely drove again after that. He’d make short trips to the store and stuff like that, but that was it.

And so it goes.

Some years later I was driving fast and listening to music like this and I’ve never stopped.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 12, 2021 12:18 pm

    Took me two tries to pass my driver’s test too. Sorry to hear about your and your friend’s experiences. Both sound traumatic even if different degrees of traumatic. Nice song, love Foghat.


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